Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Trip to Pariaman (the city)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

There is a train that runs from Padang to Pariaman, a city about 2 hours north. The train ride itself was quite the experience. This was the first train ride in Indonesia for all of us. The train runs from Padang to Pariamon with stops in between. We got on at the first station and they didn't open all the cars so that people at later stations will have space to sit. I think this is a pretty good policy since people will spread out otherwise and take up more room than necessary. Some things to remember about trains here though:

From Pariaman Trip

Rule 0: Go on a Saturday because it will be less packed than a Sunday (a day for people to go visit family).
Rule 1: If you're lucky, they might decide to refuel and your departure will be delayed by half an hour or more.
Rule 2: Do not sit near the head of the train. The conductor will keep ringing the train horn forever. This horn is super high pitch and super loud. To ensure a pleasant ride, bring earplugs.
Rule 3: Expect to move slower than traffic. I think the fastest we got was about 20mph.
Rule 4: Don't worry about being hungry on the train because at every stop, there will be different people coming on and selling everything from candy to fried rice. We got some pieces of sugar cane. I was happy. Prices are pretty normal but change is hard to come by.

From Pariaman Trip

We only ended up spending about 2 hours in Pariamon. We walked around the beach for a little bit, ate lunch, walked around the market a bit, chatted with some English students going to UNP, and then went back on the train. The city is pretty much like Padang except smaller and with a nicer beach. The train ride back was much nicer since we adhered to Rule 2 (see above). It was nice to get out of Padang and see the countryside on the train.

From Pariaman Trip

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